The year 2019 proved to be a transitional period for the non-alcoholic beverage industry and for PCPPI. We have outperformed the prior year’s results and current year’s targets, in a business environment marked by the continuing adverse effects of the massive change in sugar tax and the penal taxation of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), eliminating its use as a sweetener supplement. There were also restrictions in the access to the traditional sources of groundwater as a more stable and cost effective water supply. I believe these challenges, and our response to them, make us a stronger organization in the long run. 2019 was the year we celebrated our 30th anniversary under the ‘PCPPI’ name and true to the fighting spirit of our Pepsi champions, we marked it with highlights such as the induction of our San Fernando, Pampanga plant in the LGU Hall of Fame for receiving the “Healthiest Workplace” award three years in a row, and the good reception and recognition given by local and foreign award-giving bodies on our sustainability projects and our very first combined Annual and Sustainability Report, “Win as One.”
Focus on sustainability
The year 2019 unified us as an organization and was characterized by our focus on refining our sustainability practices. We updated our roadmap for our Luntiang Yaman program, realigning our practices with the PepsiCo 2025 global commitments and recent developments. In line with this evolved plan and process, our newly formed Sustainability Task Force and legal department will continue to track and assess government policies that may affect our operations, and determine the appropriate response and coordination needed to mitigate any impacts.
Our Sustainability Task Force, which includes the various business unit heads, plays a crucial role in aligning our whole workforce with our sustainability goals. The regular meeting among task force members brings everyone up to speed on current and future environmental initiatives and provides a venue to discuss the role of each organizational unit in the execution. The information and commitments per unit are then cascaded down the line for implementation. This has allowed us to be more deliberate and unified in our efforts.
The task force, together with our Bukluran Councils nationwide, also continue to strategize with partner organizations, community groups, and local governments on how we can collaborate for the good of the environment and society. Through this strategic alignment, we are able to agree on the implementation of long-term solutions for everyone’s benefit. As a result of these deliberations, we have expanded our reach and now pursue nationwide participation on our volunteer programs, starting with Brigada Eskwela and the International Coastal Cleanup.
Good plant management
When we started our sustainability journey, we realized that we would not be reinventing the wheel, having already established our efficiency programs. However, we committed to making necessary adjustments to better meet our goal of being operationally sustainable. We started by surveying what was working for us; in the first quarter of 2019, for example, we finished the materials recovery facilities for our plants. This will enhance our segregation of waste materials for easier transport and disposal.
We will be pushing forward with our other planned investments, in equipment and in systems, at our various plants. For starters, we have allocated PHP125 million for a water recycling and reuse project with Muntinlupa as our pilot plant. The budget resulted in the development of four projects: the final rinse recovery for clean-in-place (CIP) implemented during first quarter of 2019; the bottle washer water recovery; the final rinse recovery for water treatment tanks; and the PET rinse water recovery. Already, we have seen the effects of our bottle washer water recovery, along with our other water usage reduction initiatives, which allowed us to reduce the water usage of four lines by 10,000 to 12,000 cu.m. per month versus the 2018 projection of 13,500 cu.m. We envision that the additional investment to expand water recycling and reuse will have a profound impact on our water consumption and our environment as a whole.
On track and involved
As we further develop our programs under our sustainability pillars, we will continuously study the landscape and remain open to partnering with other Pepsi companies, various organizations, and our host communities—particularly where our goals unite:
Having been the sponsor to 2019’s Teen Speak, we now look for similar opportunities for championing education to the youth, particularly from vulnerable sectors.
We forged a partnership this year with ABS-CBN Foundation for the Bantay Baterya and Bantay Langis program where they collect and recycle our used oil and batteries and
use the financial proceeds for their environmental projects.
We have been initiating and participating in cleanups at nearby water bodies to ensure that the communities near our plants continue to have access to clean water sources. In line with this advocacy, we recently conducted an assessment study on our impact on the groundwater resource near the main Muntinlupa plant and we will use our findings to determine a site for watershed replenishment—thus further enhancing our stewardship program.
More and more of us in the industry are embracing our responsibility to the community, and are willing to take that extra step to be better corporate citizens. You can see this in the quick response of the private sector at the start of 2020 to the devastation left by the Taal Volcano eruption, closely followed by the health, economic, business and livelihood impact of the global pandemic and subsequent localized enhanced community quarantine. For our part, our plant crew and Bukluran volunteers were instrumental in bringing drinking water to displaced communities in Batangas, with a number of our employees even donating their blood in a partnership with the Philippine Red Cross for emergency medical cases post-eruption. At the outset of the global pandemic, we were among the first who presented a united front in partnering with PepsiCo and its philanthropic arm PepsiCo Foundation, along with the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), Caritas Manila, and Benby Enterprises, Inc. We distributed millions of our hydration drinks and
high-quality beverages and nutritious meals to our most vulnerable communities.
Elevating our A-game
The unprecedented events of the first quarter of 2020 have affected our lives and disrupted our business operations. No industry has been spared, and we who belong to manufacturing, and distribute essential goods such as bottled water, will continue to be of service while taking the necessary precautions to protect our stakeholders. This is exactly what sustainability is about: to safeguard the interests of the future by doing what
needs to be done today.
We are elevating our A-game. With the aid of our task force, we aim to unite the workforce, our partner communities and organizations, toward achieving the vision we have set out for our sustainability track. Beyond compliance, we aim to drive sustainability as an embraced mindset, which we pursue in our business and philanthropic activities and in creating long-term, positive impact to society and the environment.
We are playing for keeps. Despite the hurdles, we are totally determined to win.